How Texas could benefit from building back better / Public Information Service

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HOUSTON – How much would Lone Star State benefit from the Biden administration’s proposals for clean energy and infrastructure? More than most, according to an environmental group that said it relies on legislation to fix problematic power grids and create new jobs.

Analysis reveals that Texas, California and New York could be the biggest winners if the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act gets to President Joe Biden’s office.

Colin Leyden, Texas policy director for Environmental Defense Fund Action, initially said the funding could improve Texas’ power grid, which was shut down last February by winter storm Uri.

“The people who lived in inefficient houses were the ones who suffered the worst of what we saw,” Leyden said. “There is money for that.”

According to Leyden, Texas is ranked second in the country for clean energy jobs, with more than 223,000 jobs. The Environment Defense Action Fund estimates that the continued transition to clean energy could create more than a million additional jobs in Texas over the next 25 years.

The Biden proposals come at high prices, but they include incentives for wind and solar power, and funding to develop clean cars, trucks and buses.

Leyden stressed that they would also provide resources to improve air quality in communities battling harmful air pollution. He thinks the pandemic has given a glimpse of what it might look like.

“At the start of the shutdown, there were a lot of pictures around perfectly clear blue skies in areas you just didn’t see,” Leyden observed. “It’s actually a set of solutions that can deliver that kind of clean air.”

Leyden added that greater adoption of solar power could further improve air quality and noted that Texas ranked second in the country in 2020 for solar installations.

Disclosure: The Environmental Defense Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on energy policy, environment, environmental justice and health issues. If you would like to help support the news in the public interest, click here.

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